US & NC jobs data reality, Labor force plummets, Part time jobs created, WSJ The Hidden Rot in the Jobs Numbers, CitizenWells reveals unreported data, Media continues to protect Obama
“11.4%: What the U.S. unemployment rate would be if labor force participation were back to January 2008 levels.” …James Pethokoukis, American Enterprise Institute, June 2013
“Nearly half of U.S. companies are reluctant to hire full-time employees because of the ACA. One in five firms indicates they are likely to hire fewer employees, and another one in 10 may lay off current employees in response to the law.
Other firms will shift toward part-time workers. More than 40 percent of CFOs say their companies will consider switching some jobs to less than 30 hours per week or targeting part-time workers for future employment.”…Duke University Fuqua School of Business December 11, 2013
“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”…George Orwell, “1984″
2014 is an election year and the media continues to protect Obama.
Everyone could be unemployed and the mainstream media would portray the jobs situation as rosy.
The following article from the Wall Street Journal is a notable exception.
From the WSJ March 16, 2014.
“The Hidden Rot in the Jobs Numbers”
“Most commentators viewed the February jobs report released on March 7 as good news, indicating that the labor market is on a favorable growth path. A more careful reading shows that employment actually fell—as it has in four out of the past six months and in more than one-third of the months during the past two years.
Although it is often overlooked, a key statistic for understanding the labor market is the length of the average workweek. Small changes in the average workweek imply large changes in total hours worked. The average workweek in the U.S. has fallen to 34.2 hours in February from 34.5 hours in September 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That decline, coupled with mediocre job creation, implies that the total hours of employment have decreased over the period.
Job creation rose from an initial 113,000 in January (later revised to 129,000) to 175,000 in February. The January number frightened many, while the February number was cheered—even though it was below the prior 12-month average of 189,000.
The labor market’s strength and economic activity are better measured by the number of total hours worked than by the number of people employed. An employer who replaces 100 40-hour-per-week workers with 120 20-hour-per-week workers is contracting, not expanding operations. The same is true at the national level.
The total hours worked per week is obtained by multiplying the reported average workweek hours by the number of workers employed. The decline in the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by 3/10ths of an hour—offset partially by the increase in the number of people working—means that real labor usage on net, taking into account hours worked, fell by the equivalent of 100,000 jobs since September.
Here’s a fuller explanation. The job-equivalence number is computed simply by taking the total decline in hours and dividing by the average workweek. For example, if the average worker was employed for 34.4 hours and total hours worked declined by 344 hours, the 344 hours would be the equivalent of losing 10 workers’ worth of labor. Thus, although the U.S. economy added about 900,000 jobs since September, the shortened workweek is equivalent to losing about one million jobs during this same period. The difference between the loss of the equivalent of one million jobs and the gain of 900,000 new jobs yields a net effect of the equivalent of 100,000 lost jobs.”
“Another possibility for the declining average workweek is the Affordable Care Act. That law induces businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees—full-time defined as 30 hours per week—to keep the number of hours low to avoid having to provide health insurance. The jury is still out on this explanation, but research by Luis Garicano, Claire LeLarge and John Van Reenen (National Bureau of Economic Research, February 2013) has shown that laws that can be evaded by keeping firms small or hours low can have significant effects on employment.”
I would like to add the following bit of data from the BLS.
The number of people who could only find part time work rose 121,000 from January to February 2014.
Did you see or hear that reported anywhere?
And now for NC.
From the Raleigh News Observer March 17, 2014.
“North Carolina’s unemployment rate continued improving in January to near the national average, falling to 6.7 percent, the state Commerce Department reported Monday.”
“”We’ve been in this kind of transitional period for years now. There are times when I say I wish I could have some news that was all good or all bad. If it was all good or all bad, it would be easy to interpret,” said Andrew Brod, a senior researcher at the business school at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. “You take the numbers as a whole. They’re not all good or all bad.””
“About 60,000 dropped out of the pool of people either holding jobs or looking for work in the year ending in January, while nearly 106,000 left the unemployed list, the state report said. That indicated around 60 percent of the decline in the unemployment rate was due to people ending their job searches, for whatever reason, rather than landing jobs, Brod said.
“In terms of the flight from the labor force, it’s looking as though last year wasn’t as bad as we previously thought,” Brod said.”
Labor force participation rate
Jan 2009 64.9%
Jan 2013 62.6%
Jan 2014 61.1%
As you can see, the labor force participation rate plummeted 3.8% since Obama took office in January 2009 and 1.5% in the last year alone.
The number of people employed in NC in January 2013 was 4,310,807.
The number of people employed in NC in January 2014 was 4,356,090.
That is a one year increase of 45, 283 people employed.
Does that match up with the drop in unemployment rate and gain in jobs that you have read about?
Check for yourself.